How to prepare for a viva


Anyone got any tips on how to prepare for the viva? Am I allowed to take anything in with me? If I know they are likely to ask me a question can I pre-prepare a diagram or something - or is that classed as cheating? What did other people do to prepare. (its a science thesis)


If you're in the UK you can take whatever supporting documents you like into the viva. Not sure about other countries...

I prepared a sheet that had line numbers on it, each line representing a page, and put about three key words on each line so that I could locate things easily in the thesis. I found it useful as I could respond to challenging questions like "Ah, but you see here on page X and Y that I've done Z". I also took in small printouts of conference posters I'd done which went down well.

When is it? All the best!


Search this forum, lots of advice and past experiences. Good luck


I don't have a date yet - should be before Christmas. It is in the UK.


I have only had my transfer viva, but I found that when it came around I had been working on fine details of coding and analysis the few months before so I wasn't really looking at the big picture. Remember that your examiners will know less than you about your project, so will not be asinterested as you in the fine details.

I would make an effort to take a step back, try to be able to sum up what results you have in a few sentences (Hard I know!) and have a good idea in your head as to why you are using the particular techniques you used, what you are doing that is different to what others have done before.